The 2010 Christmas message of Dr Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne
Jesus, vulnerable and powerless, came to save the world
The birth of Christ represents a dramatic turning point in the history of the world. The words set to the gloriously timeless music of the Christmas favourite Handel’s Messiah, give a vivid sense of its significance: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
Christ, the light of the world, the Word made flesh, dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
In the baby Jesus, the God who is love entered human history to change it forever.
The birth of a baby is always a cause of wonder at the miracle of new life, but with Jesus’ birth the wonder is immeasurably magnified. For here in human form is love itself, born to a simple unmarried girl under difficult conditions – vulnerable and powerless.
But here is enshrined the truth which Christians believe lies at the heart of the mystery of life – one that has resonated with humanity for 2000 years and continues to draw millions across the world to celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas Day.
For we in the West who find it so easy, and are encouraged each day by the world to worship the ‘gods’ of our own making – of success and consumerism and self-will - it is often an inconvenient truth that accepting our own vulnerability and powerlessness is the beginning of a love that is the greatest treasure on earth. This love, shown in the birth of Christ, grows and blooms in us, enabling us to see the needs of others, to seek to act with kindness and generosity, and be ready to put others before ourselves.
This is what is called having ‘the mind of Christ’. I invite you to ‘put on the mind of Christ’ this Christmas, and to know the love of God in his Son, Jesus Christ. And find a place in your hearts for the vulnerable in our local communities, including those who are lonely, terminally ill, homeless, unemployed or struggling to find affordable housing. Let us be generous people who open our hearts to those who are refugees from lands where there is famine or disease, or affected by war or oppression or suffering from natural disasters.
Hundreds of thousands of Christians across Australia will be giving thanks this Christmas for the joy and hope Jesus’ birth symbolises for humanity. All are welcome to share in the Christmas celebrations in our places of worship! Please make yourself known at one of the hundreds of churches across Melbourne and Geelong, and marvel with us at the birth of the Light of the World, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Freier will be preaching on Christmas Day at the 10 am Service in St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, cnr Swanston and Flinders Streets.
Contact: Roland Ashby on 9653 4215 or (m) 0418 342 561